In a letter Sabal Trail sent to multiple Florida county commissions, the most important point is “We… are on track to place the pipeline in-service by May 1, 2017.” Important to Spectra Energy, because if they slip that date they could forfeit a $200 million bond and possibly the contract for the project, and they’re having some problems with that, since despite what they imply they do not have all the permits they need.
Then there are those glossed over in passing, such as “with certain conditions” and “Sabal Trail must have all other authorizations in place, such as Army Corp of Engineers and other major state permits, before FERC will issue a “Notice to Proceed” for construction.” And several Florida and Georgia state permits are still not issued, plus the Corps doesn’t normally issue a permit until all those are in. And there are six requests to FERC for a rehearing on its certificate.
Or omitted by euphemism: “We believe that FERC has performed a very comprehensive evaluation of alternative routing…” No it hasn’t! FERC never seriously considered demanding solar power for the Sunshine State instead of making Florida still more dependant on fracked methane.
Same sentence: “…impacts involving karst, surface water and ground water aquifers,…” See the geological report by Dennis Price, P.G. for how that’s just not so. “… protected species habitat and properties crossed by the pipeline, and has proposed reasonable mitigation…” See testimony by Tom Edwards and others in WWALS v Sabal Trail & FDEP for gopher tortoises ignored, pipeline path aimed at grandmother’s ashes, and more.
This letter was sent to several county commissions, thus all such copies are public records. Below is the text of one example. It’s signed by Brian Fahrenthold, the same who was “not familiar” with Spectra’s own safety record back in December 2013 after the Lowndes County Commission. The same who was present two years later with a check when Lowndes County took those thirty pieces of silver.
Your county commission doesn’t have to fall for that. Your commissioners can represent their own people’s land, taxes, and water, not profits for a pipeline company from Houston, Texas.
Here’s the Sabal Trail letter to multiple county commissions:
SABAL TRAIL TRANSMISSION, LLC
400 Colonlal Cenler Parkway. Sulle 300
Lake Mary, FL 32746
February 17, 2016
601 SE 25th Ave.
Ocala, FL 34471
Re: Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Docket No. CP15-17-000
Dear Mr. Bouyounes:
As you are aware, Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC’s (“Sabal Trail”) proposed interstate pipeline project (“Project”) has been under review with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”). On February 2, 2016, Sabal Trail received a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to construct and operate the Sabal Trail interstate natural gas pipeline project.
This authorizes Sabal Trail to proceed, with certain conditions, with final preparations to commence construction. The FERC Certificate is the final approval for the overall environmental determination and need of the project according to the National Environmental Policy Act. Sabal Trail must have all other authorizations in place, such as Army Corp of Engineers and other major state permits, before FERC will issue a “Notice to Proceed” for construction.
Sabal Trail has been evaluating proposed routes, design and construction methods and potential impacts on community members and the environment since June 2013. Over this nearly 3 year period ofdiscussions, surveys, studies, permitting and planning, Sabal Trail feels it has developed a balanced plan for the route, construction techniques, and measures to avoid, minimize or mitigate impacts. We believe that FERC has performed a very comprehensive evaluation of alternative routing, impacts involving karst, surface water and ground water aquifers, protected species habitat and properties crossed by the pipeline, and has proposed reasonable conditions to mitigate those impacts for the Sabal Trail project. Overall, FERC has responded to concerns raised by stakeholders and feels it will not have a significant adverse effect on local communities,
We anticipate commencing construction in the May/ June timeframe and are on track to place the pipeline in-service by May 1, 2017. Sabal Trail will host local contractor fairs in the near future to provide the opportunity for the potential local workforce or service providers to speak directly with pipeline contractors and project representatives. Also, as we’ve previously noted, Sabal Trail will generate local taxes every year for as long as it operates based on final pipeline footprint and any above ground facilities.
We appreciate your interest regarding the Sabal Trail project and encourage your continued participation. Please do not hesitate to contact me at 888-215-6683 or 713-627-4814 should you like any additional information or have questions or concerns.
Director, Governmental Affairs
Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC